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T-Mobile Mulls a Merger with Sprint Nextel

09 марта 2011

Germany's Deutsche Telekom has held talks with Sprint Nextel about a merger of their respective US networks, with talks having been intermittent over the past few months. Citing the usual people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg News reported that the talks are now stalling only on the valuation of T-Mobile USA.

Although the deal is being reportedly pitched as a sale of T-Mobile, it would be an all shares transaction, with Deutsche Telekom getting a substantial, probably majority stake in the enlarged company. T-Mobile is currently estimated to be worth around US$22.6 billion, compared to the smaller US$13.6 billion for Sprint Nextel. However, Sprint's revenues for 2010 were about 50% higher than T-Mobile, not withstanding its ongoing losses.

"In general, all options are open in the U.S. -- the sale of the whole business or of parts," Deutsche Telekom Chief Financial Officer Timotheus Hoettges said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg.

Rumurs of a tie-up of some sort between the two US networks have been on and off for several years. More substantive rumours emerged late last year with several sources suggesting a merger of the two firms, or an outright takeover of Sprint Nextel was being discussed.

Any significant commercial deal in the USA would however expose the company to US government scrutiny. The German government controls a 15% stake in Deutsche Telekom directly and holds another 17% via state-owned bank KfW Bankengruppe, and US politicians have previously expressed concerns about a foreign government influence in a telecoms firm.

Its an issue which causes China's Huawei no end of problems in the USA.

T-Mobile is also known to be in talks with the WiMAX network operator, Clearwire - which is incidentally majority owned by Sprint Nextel - over a radio spectrum deal. T-Mobile is hampered by a lack of radio spectrum to boost its 3G network and has limited options other than a merger or acquisition of its ow

Источник: Total Telecom

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